$7.3 Million is the Average Net Worth For Congress — And That's Why I'm Launching My 2012 Campaign

I’m tired. 

I’m tired of politics today. I’m tired of politicians. You should be tired too. Everyone in America, sans the politicians, should be exhausted! Too many times have I read articles about why candidate A will represent the interest of Americans better than Candidates B or C. Really? Will they actually do a better job? I don’t think so. Let me tell you why.

Congress consists of 435 Representatives and 100 Senators. We all learned that when we were children. According to a recent report, each of those people receives a minimum salary of $174,000, plus benefits. The salary alone makes them a top 5% earner. When you add in the incomparable benefits package, they are very well compensated. But even that doesn’t tell the whole story.

The top 25 wealthiest politicians is about as bi-partisan as you can get, with 13 D and 12 R in the list. The top 15 is a little more one-sided, with 11 D and 4 R. That comes as a bit of a surprise for me, considering the “Big Business” persona that Republicans get cast upon them.

The average net worth for our Congress people is $7.3 million. This places them in the top 3% of earners in America on average. These are the same people that represent the other 97% of us. Is this truly representative?

Let’s go a step further, shall we: 90% of U.S. lawmakers are male while only 49% of Americans are male. Congress is 87% white, while America is only 76% white. The median age of Americans is 33 years, while for lawmakers it is 53. Is this representative?

By and large our Congress is made up of wealthy, near-retirement age white men despite the fact that our country is considerably younger, poorer, and more diverse. So why is it that Americans are not being better represented at the national level? Do only rich, white men run for office? Of course not. But they do win. They win because they have more money to spend on campaigns. They win because they have support of other politicians. But more importantly, they win because the American people let them.

When will you, the American citizen, finally say enough is enough? When will you finally begin to make a stand and vote for someone that truly knows your life and challenges? Only when you begin to do that, can we start to get adequate representation in Congress, and then start to see the changes that REALLY matter in this country.

Here’s an idea: run for office yourself. Do some research and run as a common American that understands other Americans and be prepared to prove it. If you don’t want to run, then vote for your neighbor! Stop listening to the talking heads and media. Start thinking for yourself. Turn off the TV. Vote for everyday people and see what real change is.

For me, Todd Young is my target. He’s an Indiana representative and a Republican. Even more, he’s a typical politician. While only 40, he is an “old boys network” representative having served under Dick Lugar, Mitch Daniels, and groomed for standard politics. He claims to be for fiscal responsibility yet he voted to increase the House appropriations budget. He voted in support of the NDAA. Wanna know more? Look it up. Todd is not one of us. He’s one of them, the minority. I will be researching the process for challenging Todd in his next race. I’m just a normal guy. I don’t have the money to beat him, but it doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t try. 

You heard it hear: I’m launching my candidacy for Indiana’s 9th District Representative to the Congress. I’m not a lawyer. I’m not rich. I want our country to be the best.

Now that is change we can believe in.

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Christopher McDaniel

I have a B.S. in business and am pursuing my Master's degree. I love working with numbers, and I am fascinated with the stories that they tell.

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